How to Get Rid of Green Algae (Smell Musty) in a Steam Iron?

If you’ve only used tap water (in a hard water area), the water tank has a green or blue tint to it that looks like algae.

In this article, I am going to help you to get rid of green algae in a steam iron with an easy step by step process.

how to get rid of green algae in steam iron
how to get rid of green algae in a steam iron

But first, let us know what is green algae and what helps them grow/reproduces them?

Let’s start:

What is Green Algae?

The “green algae” is the most diverse group of algae, with more than 7000 species growing in a variety of habitats. Green algae have chloroplasts that contain chlorophyll a and b, giving them a bright green color. The cell walls of green algae usually contain cellulose, and they store carbohydrates in the form of starch.

Green algae
Image of a highly dense Green algae

The above picture shows a dense growth of sea lettuce (Ulva), growing in a tide pool at the Berkeley Marina.

What produces Green Algae?

Like the plants, the green algae contain two forms of chlorophyll, which they use to capture light energy to fuel the manufacture of sugars, but unlike plants, they are primarily aquatic. Because they are aquatic and manufacture their own food, these organisms are called “algae”. It is reproductive much faster.

Protip: To reduce or stop the production of algae, store your iron in a dark place (like your closet) and empty the water tank after use.

How to Get Rid of Green Algae?

Algae is a bacteria that can carry toxins that are harmful to animals, humans, and plants. Therefore, it is extremely important to take every precaution to prevent algae growth in water tanks. To get rid of green algae you can use any of the following methods:

Method 1: (Water & Vinegar solution)

  • Step 1: Fill up your steam iron water tank with water and Vinegar in a 50/50 mix.
  • Step 2: Heat iron up to full temperature and leave for approx 10 mins. Allow to cool down.
  • Step 3: Refill the tank with clean water and reheat the iron. Use the steam burst feature of the iron and iron on a piece of cloth that doesn’t matter just in case any gunk comes out.

Method 2: Add 1/4 teaspoon of bleach to every gallon of water you store – Bleach kills algae and prevents it from growing. I suggest you use bleach that is 5.25% hypochlorite. Do not add both bleach and chlorine to your water. Use one or the other.

Method 3: Add 4 parts of *chlorine to every 1,000,000 parts water- Chlorine also stops algae growth.


I hope these pieces of information will help you to get rid of green algae in your steam iron. Store the iron in a dark place and empty the water tank before storing it. You can use vinegar and water solution to clean the water tank.

Leave a Comment